Label Text: "Catlett’s primary focus was sculpture but she was also a pioneering African American printmaker. She championed women as her subjects and delved into issues central to human, social, cultural, and political rights. Survivor is based heavily on a 1937/38 photograph taken by Dorothea Lange, who documented the lives of the rural poor in the American South for the United States government during the Great Depression. While we might ponder the many situations of survival to which Catlett’s title could refer, Lange left no mistake when she titled her image, Ex-slave with a Long Memory.
Linoleum cut was a new medium in the 1920s and one in which Catlett worked regularly from the beginning of her career as a printmaker in Mexico in the 1940s. Linoleum cut is similar to woodcut, but less laborious. The feel of cutting a linoleum block can be as smooth as pushing a knife through butter when using high quality tools and materials (written by Nancy Sojka for Passion on Paper: Masterly Prints from the KIA Collection, 2018)."